The last thing anyone wants to do is take a trip to the mechanic when their car or truck starts making weird noises. Not only will it leave you without a usable mode of transportation, but it can also take a big chunk out of your savings.
Working on your own car doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating, though there are a few things you’ll need to remember before you start turning those wrenches. Here are eight tips to make working on your own car a little easier.
1. Check Your Owner’s Manual
When it comes to things like warning light definitions and maintenance intervals, your owner’s manual is going to be your best tool. It’s always a good idea to stick to manufacturer recommendations for things like oil changes, especially if you’re just starting out as an amateur mechanic.
2. Stock Your Garage With Tools
You’re going to need plenty of tools to work on your cars, so it’s a good idea to stock your garage with everything you might need. Start with the basics — screwdrivers, socket sets, wrenches and pliers — and add more specialized options as you need them.
3. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
Tire pressure is something you might overlook during your regular inspections, but it’s something you can’t afford to ignore. Low tire pressure interferes with everything from fuel economy to traction, so keep them pumped up!
4. Know What to Look For
Sometimes the easiest way to work on your car is to know what to look for, especially when it comes to normal wear and tear. Learn how to recognize when your car needs an oil change or when something is wearing out faster than it should be.
5. Create a Safe Place to Work
Don’t work on your car in your driveway. Not only will you run afoul of your local homeowner’s association, but you’ll also be at the mercy of Mother Nature. Turn your garage into a safe place to work on your car. This includes getting your garage door inspected to ensure it’s in good working order and isn’t going to fall on your head or your car while you’re under it.
6. Start Simple
You don’t have to start with a complicated engine swap when you’re trying to begin working on your car for the first time. Don’t be afraid to start simple. Change your oil. Replace your air filter. Swap out a serpentine belt if you’re feeling up to the task. Work your way up to the more complex stuff.
7. Ask for Help
How many gearhead friends do you have? They’re not going to give you a hard time for asking for help. They might even be excited that you’re starting to take an interest in their hobbies. Ask for help! You might be surprised by how many people are willing to give you a helping hand.
8. Just Do It!
Finally, the last piece of advice we can offer is just to get out there and do it. Get under that hood, start turning those wrenches and give it a try. It doesn’t take much to get started. All you need is a few tools and a little bit of patience and perseverance. Just do it!
Get out There and Start Turning Wrenches
What’s stopping you from working on your own car? Give it a try — you might be surprised at how easy it is!